Friday, February 26, 2010

it's been a busy week ...

Even though I didn't manage to get Jen's block finished, and I didn't get to finish the side cabinets for the entertainment center, I still managed to get a lot done.  Grandma's quilt is completely finished.  That alone is a HUGE weight off of my shoulders.  I will blog about it tomorrow when I take better pictures of it ...

I also managed to get the "drapes" finished today.  Say hello to the new look:

We used to have valances covering the top of the sliding glass door.  It was okay, but still lacked in design and "oomph".  I went to Target and bought a nice double drapery rod and hooks (with clips), bought 5 sheer panels for $5 each, and spent $20 on 2 drop cloths which were washed, ironed, hemmed and hung.  So, all together I spent $132 for the new window treatments.  The rings with clips and the drapery rod were expensive (the rod was $40 because it's a longer rod).  However, what it's done for the room is beyond putting a price tag on it!

This is a nice shot too because you can see my new loveseat, there's a matching couch too - thanks Craigslist!  You can also see how well everything goes with the new end tables I built.  And of course I bought new lamps ... we call these the "bowling pin lamps" ... gee, I wonder why?

I could really use some inspiration to decorate the huge empty hole above the sliders.  I was thinking a vinyl wall quote, maybe some big barn stars ... I am open to suggestions here!

Oh, and there's Mocha, doing what she does best!  LOVE her!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2 down ...

I managed to get Grandma's quilt, quilted and the binding attached.  I still have to hand sew the back of the binding.  I hate that part.  My fingers always hurt, and the thimbles never fit. 

I also managed to finish the two blocks that I needed to get finished for the pinwheel quilt along (button located on the right side bar for those interested in following along).  I think they came out nice ... see ...

AND, I also started Natalie's quilt.  It went from cut fabric squares this morning to a 70% finished quilt top tonight.  No pictures until it's finished, because it is a gift and I want to keep some element of surprise.   ;o)

So, I'm knocking out a lot of the things on my to do list for this week ... and now back to the hand sewing ...

To do's for this week ...

It's gonna be a busy week for me.  Yep.

I have to do the following, before Friday:

  • Finish binding my grandma's quilt (yes, it's FINALLY quilted).
  • Begin piecing Natalie's quilt.
  • Hem the new "drapes" that I bought (a.k.a. drop cloths turned curtains).
  • Finish building the two side cabinets on the entertainment center.
  • Keep up with the pinwheel quilt-along.
  • Make my block for Jen (another bee that I'm in).

It's not that there's anything going on that I HAVE to finish these things by Friday, it's more of a wish list of the things that I would like to accomplish.  I've done so much to the house in the last couple of weeks, I feel like I could really use a vacation.

Keep checking in for updates on the studio progress (the floor is gone back there and the walls are bare).  I think that Monday the walls will get the new texture.

I'm tired.

Monday, February 15, 2010

One more post for today ...

Only because I forgot to mention it in the last "room of doom" post - and quite frankly, it doesn't really "go" with that post.   :o)

I built two end tables this past week for our living room.  These were the secret, but not so secret, things I was building.

One more thing crossed off the to-do list, and now I can focus on finding a new couch and loveseat for the room.  Not an easy task since I have a very small budget and no one will return phone calls or emails from Craigslist.  I'll keep doing what I'm doing though ...

Enter the room of doom and dread ... if you dare ...

Let's take a tour of my soon-to-be changing studio.  As you may remember, this is the room that took nearly 2 years for a general contractor to complete.  This is the room that needed several "fixes" once we fired said general contractor.  Did I mention that it took nearly 2 years to build, and the room is only 12' x 10'??

Upon entering the room, if you were to walk with me, you would notice that there's a slight slope to the floor when you walk in.  This is because the floor in the studio is not level with the rest of the house.  Lovely, yes?

If you look to the left, you will see my ugly storage cabinets.  And my even uglier wire shelving unit.  I have been using the cabinets to store fabric for quilting ... no, I will not open them and show you.  It will make your eyes hurt.  See that lovely mannequin head on top of the smaller cabinet?  You may remember her from an earlier post.  No, I do not usually decorate my living spaces with gaudy heads.  Let's move along, shall we?

To the right, you'll notice that there are 2 sets of doors here.  The doors that are leaning against the other set were once installed between the bedroom and the studio.  I felt that removing them opened up the room a lot more - making it feel bigger and brighter.  The doors are listed on Craigslist for a deal if you're interested.  If I found out that the buyer was a blog reader, they'd get a hell of a deal!  (wink wink) ...

Anyway, the doors that give us access to the outside are actually not the original doors that were installed.  The original set of doors were not properly installed.  This caused leaking into the house, which also caused leaking onto the flooring.  See the ripped up flooring near the door?  Yeah, apparently he didn't install a moisture barrier between the concrete and the laminate flooring.  So, I have a lovely patch of concrete there that I've been looking at for about a year.  Isn't it pretty?

And finally, let's turn our eyes to the sky ... or should I say the skylight covered in foil.  When I had it uncovered, the natural light in here was amazing ... gorgeous even.  Until you walked into the room, then you felt like your skin was on fire.  I was assured that the glass (or plastic, whatever it's made of), was tinted and would be energy efficient because it was also covered with something called Low-E film.  What I've discovered from living here is that, tinted or not, this room BAKES in the summer!  So, the foil was put in place over this past summer.  I don't know what to do ... do I replace it?  Do I have it uninstalled and just have the hole plugged up??  Ideas ... anyone??

Oh, and let's not forget to take a closer look at the texture of the walls and the ceiling.  You see, in the rest of my house I have a very pretty texture called "spanish lace" on the ceiling and "orange peel" texture on the walls.  In the studio however, I was given something called - "looks like a child threw oatmeal at the walls" texture on the walls ... and "didn't give a crap not even going to try" texture on the ceiling.  Here's some pictures that show you what I'm talking about.

So ... my game plan is this ... next Saturday, a fine gentleman is going to remove the laminate flooring in here.  He's getting a great deal on it - it's free - he just has to do all of the labor.  I estimate that there's about 10' x 10' of good laminate in here that he'll be able to use.  Once those are removed, there's another fine gentleman coming in to try and match the texture on the walls and on the ceiling to the rest of the house.  From what I have been told, this is not an easy task (the matching) and I'm hoping for the best here.  I will be sure to post photos of the progress of the room as it transforms.

Once the walls and ceiling textures have been established, the next task is leveling the floor and installing tile.  I figured that tile would be more "sewing room friendly" as I can use the grout lines as a grid of sorts when I'm making quilts.  It'll also hold the heat / cold better than the laminate was, because I do intend to figure out SOMETHING to do with that gosh darn skylight.

And thanks to Ana and her fabulous blog that I can't talk enough about ... I intend to build a few Cameron storage systems in here for fabric storage, a bench seat that is the length of the window (I don't think I showed you the window, it's just a window anyway - you're not missing anything), and eventually try and tackle building a Bedford Project table similar to what Pottery Barn wants to charge an arm and a leg for.  Again ... all with pictures of the progress.

I'm guessing that this project is going to take a while to complete, but I'm also guessing that it won't take nearly 2 years.  Take that Mr. lame general contractor!  (And if you want to see any of the pictures bigger, just click on them ... but be forewarned, I can't be responsible for the hideous-ness of what you see)!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


My secret-but-not-so-secret project is almost done.  I should have pictures tomorrow evening of my results.   I tried to take a break this weekend and get some sewing done.  I'm about 75% done with my grandma's quilt, I'm completely caught up on my quilting bee blocks, and I've got some of the pieces cut for the next quilt I have to complete before April 1st.  So, it was a big sewing weekend for me.  This was one of the blocks I finished this weekend, and I LOVE it!  The fabric line is Meadowsweet.  I actually have a layer cake of this line laying around in the studio somewhere ... I love the line.  It's bright, cheery, and fun.  I hope Rebecca enjoys her block and I can't wait to see her finished quilt.

We also had people coming in and out of the house this weekend for estimates. 

Two years ago, we had a room addition built onto the back of the house.  It was a nightmare that lasted nearly a year and a half.  When we fired the general contractor, we had a structurally okay room, but a cosmetic disaster on our hands.  I couldn't even look at the room for a year because every time I went in it, all I could think about was the turmoil that it caused.  It ended up being used for storage for a while.

Well, this past week I decided that I'd had enough.  Someone is coming next weekend to rip up the laminate flooring in there, and we're going to basically start from scratch and get everything fixed.  Maybe I should post some before and after pics??

Who wants to see my disaster room??

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What's happening!?!

OMG - what's happening to my little sewing blog?  What am I doing surrounded by all of these power tools?!?  Why do I have a palm sander to thank for my new jacked up manicure?!?  Seriously!

I have been playing with wood again today, but rather than show you what I made, I'm only giving you a sneak peek.  "They" will be unveiled when both of them are finished and in place.  Thanks again to Ana, who has given me the inspiration and the means to finish all of these projects - my head is spinning with all the possibilities yet to be dreamed up! 

We're also getting ready for a yard sale this weekend.  Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe yard sales?  Yeah, I love the extra cash because it feeds my fabric addiction, but I hate the hassle of dragging everything out, pricing everything, then haggling over a quarter in my driveway.  And, it's supposed to be chilly this weekend.

I think I should probably put the power tools away for a couple of days, focus on the yard sale, and then maybe do some sewing ... that's what this blog is about anyway.  

Hope you all are having a great day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

All done!

Late last night I finished my first building project ... ever.  Aside from the ship that I made in 7th grade wood shop, but still. 

So, here was the inspiration piece.  It's the Logan collection TV stand, available at Pottery Barn.  The cost is $799, plus shipping, plus a $75 surcharge for delivery.

And here's my TV stand.  Total cost, about $200, but only because I had to buy a few extra things like drill bits, sanding blocks, a table saw ... you know, tool stuff.  So, there's probably about $50 worth of materials invested in the stand itself.

My next order of business are end tables.  I'm either going to start on them today, or wrap up some quilting that I need to finish, haven't decided yet.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

oh yeah, it's happening ...

Two posts back to back, oh yeah, it's happening ... just go with it.

Just wanted to share my progress on the Logan TV stand project.  Last weekend for my birthday, the hubster bought me a table saw.  It was very much needed, since the cabinets were an issue.

I had to have them cut a total of 4 times.  The first time, they were too short.  My fault for not getting things cut as I went.  The second and third time, both Home Depot AND Lowes cut the cabinet doors "off" ... so one side was shorter than the other ... on BOTH cabinets.  I mean really ... how hard is it exactly to cut a square piece of wood or MDF for that matter?  Seriously!?

So, I took matters into my own hands last weekend and found a wonderful used table saw on Craigslist.  I cut my own gosh darn cabinet doors and they came out perfectly.  See, it's not that hard if *I* can do it!

Everything's been sanded and primed.  At this point, I just need to paint, cut the hole in the back for the cables to feed through, and put it in place.  I'd like to have this project 100% complete before the Super Bowl starts.  No, I don't watch football (I don't even know who's playing), but I do enjoy the commercials.  Anyone else?  Just me??

Anyway, here's a couple of snapshots of my progress as of almost 1 a.m. Saturday morning (yep, it really is that late - I'm going to bed now)!  Pay no attention to the crooked shelf in the middle, it's kinda just sitting there since it's still drying, the cabinet doors are just kinda sitting there too - not attached, just wanted to take the picture.


Friday, February 5, 2010

A little something about my dad ...

I just wanted to give my dad a little "shout out" today.  He's come to be my hero in the last couple of days ... not that he ever stopped being a hero, but he was a tremendous help to me with the entertainment center that I'm working on.

When I was growing up, my dad tried to build everything that he thought we needed.  Entertainment centers, tables, decks ... he was a pretty good woodworker.  When his eyesight started getting the best of him, he sort of put his hobby of building things on a shelf and took up other hobbies that were better suited for a man with limited sight.  You would be amazed if I told you that he crochets now - and he's nearly 100% blind!

Anyway, when I told my dad that I was going to start building some furniture around here, I saw a little part of him  light up again.  I think he was just as excited as I was, and he's been helping me with ideas, tips, and "rules" that I didn't know about until he taught me.  To say that I could've done this without his help would be a lie.  A part of me would like to think that I'm giving my dad back his old hobby, even if he can't do as much as he'd like to do himself - he's doing it through me.  I guess it's true that at some point, parents do live their lives through their children.

So, this post is for you dad.  Thank you for helping me with this entertainment center, and thank you for all the help you've offered for my future projects.  I'm blessed to have you as a dad and I'm looking forward to "talking shop" with you for many years to come.  Who knows, maybe one of these days I'll even let you teach me how to crochet.  

Love you!

Monday, February 1, 2010


I turned 34 yesterday.  I don't feel any different.  I don't look any different.  I'm just older, I guess.  What does that mean, anyway?  How are 34 year-olds supposed to behave?  Just curious ... because I think I might be doin' it wrong.

I like to play video games with my soon-to-be teenager.

I like to play blocks with my toddler.

I don't clean up my room.

I tend to stay up too late and have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.

I hate vegetables and I love junk food.

I think that the PTA is for the other moms.

I can't balance a checkbook to save my life.

I could spend all day at the mall if you let me (or the craft store - it's a toss up).

But I guess there's a lot of good things about being older ... I just haven't thought of anything life-changing yet.  Care to share your words of wisdom?  I could probably use the advice ...

Oh, and this picture HAD to be posted!  Have any of you seen the LOL Cats?  Click for the bigger picture so you can see the cat in the background.  This picture is dying for a funny caption!